Internet Cafe China
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Jan 22, 2013 2:19 AM Last Post By: Pikadiren
Jan 11, 2013 9:59 AM
Internet Cafe ChinaLast September I was denied to use an Internet Cafe for two times: First happened in Zhengding, second in Wutaishan. Reason: I had no chinese ID card. In Zhengding I finally found an Internet Cafe where they let me use the Computer by registering with my passport. Since I use Internet Cafes not only for writing E-Mails back home but also for booking my next hotel I was a little bit worried, that this will happen more often in the future.
Last time I often stayed in hotels I found via elong. Often there were no "foreigner-hostels" (which isn't a big loss, but well, at least at such places you always have internet access), but if you stay in hotels and don't have your own netbook with you it can be sometimes difficult to use Internet. Has this happened to anybody else or was it probably only a short time, where they had a stricter policy for some reason?
Jan 11, 2013 10:41 AM
1When registering for internet access you need to show id (and this is not just in China) but some places never see any foreigners so the poor clerk is probably not aware that passports are ok. sometimes you need to insist a little. But I find that there is free wifi all over the place. Many coffee shops and many restaurants (even small ones have it). some require a password that you just ask the waitress if you are eating there.
If you do not carry a notebook or smartphone then you must rely on your hotel or hostel which will often have a public one to use. Otherwise you need to use the internet cafes which are getting more and more rare I find.
Jan 11, 2013 1:16 PM
Jan 11, 2013 3:34 PM
Jan 11, 2013 7:10 PM
4If you're going to be mostly in major cities, a wi-fi enabled device should be enough. However, if you are going more to smaller towns or off the beaten trail, a 3G device would be better. IME, there are far more lower- and middle-range hotel rooms with wired LAN connections (some work well, some don't) but few with wifi. I've been in many many places in the last year where my only viable connection was the 3G (I used a China Unicom dongle plugged into the USB port of my laptop). 3G is more expensive but if you are basically checking emails and making advance bookings rather than trying to watch streaming video, it's not too bad. Whether you get a tablet or smartphone, compact and lightweight is better. No need to buy the latest and greatest--a 1-2 year old model should be adequate and cost-effective.
Outside of Beijing and maybe Shanghai, I usually can find internet cafes in most places--when in doubt, there are usually at least a couple around the local train station. They normally require ID (passport is OK, as long as clerk realizes this). Or find a hostel or hotel business center. Due to security concerns, I strongly recommend using your own device, and also using a VPN esp at wifi hotspots.
Jan 11, 2013 10:49 PM
5Well, buying a netbook isn't the problem (I have a small one from Asus), but I don't want to carry another still not too small item together with my photo-equipment. I already use a Kindle Touch, so I don't have to carry the heavy LP-Guidebook. With a device from TPLink I also managed to surf in the Internet with the Kindle when I stayed in hotels, but the browser is in an "experimental" state (and probably never will become better, since Amazon probably will not give you something for free when you already have paid). It was good enough to read the ThornTree and newspapers. But always when I wanted to use a booking function, for instance at elong (but also at hostelbookers) with the Kindle it was not possible. And the Kindle is the biggest device I want to carry, as I already mentioned it contains all the travel information I gathered before the trip as PDF, mobi and using Duokan as a parallel system also epub. And it doesn't need to carry an aditional recharger because first even a trip of 4 weeks needs no recharging (only if one uses WiFi excessively) and second the plug and USB-cabel I need for the TPLink is the same I can use for the Kindle to recharge. If only the browser would be better! So I still need accesss to loacl Computers.
Jan 12, 2013 2:29 AM
Jan 12, 2013 6:41 AM
7Same experience last summer - I was refused 2 or 3 times when I wanted to use an internet cafe in Yunnan. It seems to be quite a strict requirement that anybody using an internet cafe needs to be registered using ID and the information on users is available to the authorities. Most cafe owners or staff simply don't want to bother with foreign passports or (especially in smaller places) attract unwelcome attention by including foreigners in their user lists provided to the authorities.
My wife's wi-fi enabled smartphone turned out to be a saver for us, although I really hate writing e-mails on such a small device. We found wi-fi (always free of charge) provided by almost all places we stayed. Otherwise, most hostels had a couple of computers for use of their guests (usually for free) in the common area and some hotels, even budget ones, now have computers with internet access in their rooms in addition to the ubiquitous TV set.
My advice to anybody travelling to China would be to take some kind of wi-fi enabled device.
Jan 21, 2013 6:26 AM
8I had the same problem in Gansu last October/November. As was mentioned previously carrying a wifi-enabled
device definitely helps. However, some of my hotels did not have wifi. To my surprise I found out that when
I politely asked the recipionist for help they either let me use the computer behind the reception desk or lend me
a laptop. I know that this will probably not always be the case but it seems worth to ask!!
Jan 22, 2013 2:15 AM
Jan 22, 2013 2:19 AM
10I had the same problem when leaving China in december 2012. I went to an Internet cafe 2km from the airport. I was asked ID. I said as a foreigner I had only a passport. There seemed to have a big difficulty but I insisted and insisted.
I was allowed in but there was A CONDITION: NOTHING ABOUT POLITICS.
The manager was very afraid and he sit by my side all the time watching my screen while I was writing emails.
I doubt he could understand French
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